Archives for November 16, 2006

Medgadget’s Sci-Fi Writing Contest

While we’re blogging about all these great medical advances, we’re getting kind of anxious for the future to just show up, already. We can’t quite imagine what that future will be like… but maybe you can! Or, at the very least, you can tell an entertaining tale involving medicine, from the perspective of a few years from now… or decades, or centuries. Or, write about healthcare in a world just slightly different from today’s.

You can write about a medgadget, an ethical dilemma, a dangerous new experiment, or some overbearing pharmaceutical firm or government institution. Or anything else you can conceive of that’s medically sci-fi. We’re just laying down a few ground rules:


Read the rules at MedGadget, and best of luck to any and all contestants!

The Man with the Iron Tattoo: book review and author interview

I was generously offered an advance copy of

The Man with the Iron Tattoo and Other True Tales of Uncommon Wisdom: What Our Patients Have Taught Us About Love, Faith and Healing

by doctors John E. Castaldo and Lawerence P. Levitt.  Additionally, I was given the opportunity to interview one of the authors by telephone (my first phone interview of an author!).


The book (which needs a more abbreviated title) is a series of stories mostly about patient interactions, and what they learned about themselves and their profession and practice from them.  The one that wasn’t about a patient was about the suicide of a physician colleague, and its effect on them (it is a model for how docs should look at themselves and each other to see and acknowledge the warning signs of serious depression in people conditioned to ignore their own problems and feelings).

Although I don’t want to spoil the book, there is one chapter in which the child of an author is brain injured in an auto accident, and there is a subtext of what incredible jerks doctors are, even to each other, which is painful to read but very very real.

I enjoyed it, and recommend it for a general audience, but the medical types will enjoy it as well.

For those who don’t want to read the interview, it’s available at Amazon , Independent Publishers Group, and Ben Bella Books.


Dr. Larry Leavitt (Senior Neurologist Emeritus at Lehigh Valley Hospital) took some time from his busy schedule and agreed to be interviewed by me, and here is a poorly-transcribed partial transcript (and any missing conversation or errors are mine):


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